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Top 5 exercises for Netball

Netball is a sport played at high intensities with many accelerations, decelerations, changes of direction, jumping and landings performed by players throughout the game. No matter what position you play on the court you need to be able to jump, catch the ball and often land on one leg before passing it off again – but do you have a solid strength base to be able to perform this over and over again in a game?

If we look at the most common injuries in Netball, it is evident that a very high percentage occur to the knee and ankle as a result of a poor landing – whether that be because of contact or not. Completing a structured strength training program can help to reduce the risk of the injuries from occurring.
In addition to the normal skills training, physical preparation for netball should contain elements of:
• Balance and proprioception
• Total body strength but most notably the lower body and core
• Agility
• Power
• Endurance

To help decrease your risk of injury but also improve your performance on the court we have come up with a list of our top 5 exercises for netball. We have also made it so the exercises can all be performed at the court with minimal equipment.

Check out our NETBALL TRAINING PROGRAM full of: Warm up protocol / speed / change of direction / passing drills / running sessions / strength work. 

Top 5 exercises for netball

Top 5 exercises for Netball:

1. Single leg Landing
• Start with two feet together, stand up tall on your tip toes, arms reaching for the sky.
• Quick drop and stick on one leg
• Nail the landing, “attack the ground”
• Keep the knee in line with the foot – don’t let the knee drop inwards
• 3 sets of 6 landings each leg
• Step off a box or step then stick the landing on one leg

2. Single leg squat
• Best performed balancing off the edge of step or ledge, looking for ¼ squat depth.
• Keep knee tracking in line with your foot, do not let your knee drop inwards
• Control movement down until opposite leg touches the ground
• 3 sets of 15 reps each leg

3. Single leg RDL/Arabesque
• Starting one on leg
• Extend one leg backwards, and both arms forward or out to the side to help balance
• Bending from the hips, keeping your back straight and hips level
• At the top position we want a straight line from head to heel.
• Then control the return back to the start position – try and stay balanced for all 6 reps
• 3 sets of 6 reps each leg

4. Glute Bridge
• Lying on your back, feet shoulder width apart, heels close to your finger tips
• Drive through your heels, lifting your hips towards the sky
• At the top position, after a straight line from knees to shoulders – squeeze your bottom at the top position and hold for 2 seconds
• 3 sets of 15 reps

5. Side plank
• Lying on your side with legs out straight, forearm/elbow placed directly under your shoulder
• Lift your body up off the ground, pressing through the forearm and feet
• Maintain a straight line from head to heel, try and keep your hips high
• 3 x 30 secs each side


By performing this batch of top 5 exercises for netball twice per week it will play a role in decreasing your risk on injury and increasing on court performance. Improving your ability to land and balance on leg, as well as increasing your strength in the contest.
Completing a structured strength training program is essential to your development as a netballer, especially if you are looking to take your game to the next level.

Bonus resources:

Check out our NETBALL TRAINING PROGRAM full of: Warm up protocol / speed / change of direction / passing drills / running sessions / strength work. 

Netball Training Program

Top 5 exercises for netball


Check out our FREE – Netball Warm Up & Recovery Guide

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Running Strength Training

The importance of single leg strength for runners:

It doesn’t matter if you are a runner competing over short distances around the track or a marathon out on the road – it is super important that you add in some form of strength training to help you stay injury free but also improve your running performance.

Historically runners have been hesitant to do strength training because of the perceived negative effects of it and the chance of increased hypertrophy, muscle bulk (Yamamoto et al, 2008). It has now been shown on many occasions to actually aid running performance from increased force production and power development, improved motor unit recruitment and enhanced stretch shortening cycle (Balsalobre-Ferna Ndez et al, 2015). 

We are going to be exploring the role that strength training can play for runners, in particular single leg strength.

As you know, when we run every time we take a stride there is only one foot in contact with the ground at any time. This requires great strength from the foot all the way up the chain to your torso. When the body isn’t strong in this position, that is when injuries can occur and performance goes down as energy is ‘leaking’ from the body.
For example:

  • Weakness through hips – every time your foot strikes the ground your pelvis should remain relatively stable. But, when the hip complex isn’t strong enough that is when you will have a ‘hip drop’ and when not addressed can verge into a Trendelenburg gait.

  • Weakness through the knee – Once again on foot strike your knee should stay tracking in line with your toes and not collapse inwards. This lateral collapse of the knee ‘valgus’ can lead to knee pain as it is placing extra load on the joint and once again can also mean slower pace.

  • Weakness through the ankle and foot – Upon foot strike the foot complex should be strong and springy, absorbing the contact, transferring the force and then propelling you forwards. When it is weak there can be a collapse through the ankle and mid foot, placing extra load on the tibialis posterior and plantar fascia.

So, what can you do about reducing the risk of these injuries occurring?

Here are our top 5 strength exercises for runners that you can be completing at home to build up that single leg strength:

Single leg squat – 3 x 10 each leg – Aim to keep your knee tracking in line with your toes, slowly lower down move hips back first, just touch the box then return to the top. 

Single leg glute bridge – 3 x 10 each leg – Start with feet shoulder width apart finger tips touching heels, one leg lifts up and floats in the sky, then press your heel into the floor and lift tummy to the sky, squeeze bum at the top, focus on keeping hips level at the top.

Single leg RDL – 3 x 6 each leg – Slight bend in the stance leg, aim to stay straight from head to heel with the other leg, bending at the hips, aim to get out as long as possible. 

Side lay leg lift – 3 x 8 each leg – Starting in side plank position from the knees, keep straight line from head to heel with bottom leg, lift top leg up to the sky, should feel this exercise in the side of your bum.

Single leg calf raise – 3 x 15 each leg – Press through big toe, get nice and tall, keep the movement slow and controlled. 

We recommend completing these exercises 1-2 times per week, ideally in conjunction with some core strengthening work as well.  If you do have any injuries at the moment it would be best to get advice from an Allied Health Professional before giving these a go.

It is important to remember that strength training is there to assist your running – running is the main aim and the strength exercises are a tool to help keep you out on the track.

If you have got any questions in regards to this post or just general strength and conditioning please comment below or send us an email –

Bonus resources:

Check out our E-books – strength programs for runners: 



Hoff, J, Gran, A, and Helgerud, J. Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports12: 288–295, 2002.

Jones, P and Bampouras, T. Resistance training for distance running: a brief update. Strength Cond J 29(1): 28–35, 2007


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Junior Athletic Development

Junior Athletic Development encompasses a holistic view to ensure the athlete is physically preparing properly for their chosen sport or sports. With the aim to reduce the injury risk for the athlete, while also increasing their sporting performance. Muscular strength is one of the key areas to target when physically preparing an athlete.

What is strength? 

Muscular strength is the ability of the body to produce force, as well as absorbing force. In a sporting context a footballer with poor lower body strength will not be able to jump as high to take a mark compared to a strong athlete, as they can’t produce as much force into the ground to produce the power for their jump. Similarly, a netballer with poor strength will not be able to land and absorb the force very well from a jump or aggressive change of direction, leading to an increased risk of injury.

So we have identified that muscular strength plays a crucial role for an athlete – so why don’t junior athletes perform any strength training?

junior athletic development

Strength training Myths for Junior Athletes:

Understandably, parents want to ensure the safety of their child whilst participating or training for their sport. The suitability of strength training for children and young athletes has long been debated, with the old school belief that strength training is inappropriate for young athletes……..

There have been a number of myths that we have commonly heard in regards to junior athletic development. These are issues we would not only like to dismiss, but also demonstrate the positive benefits behind strength training, regardless of age or sport played.
Four of the most common myths:
– Strength training stunts growth.
– Strength training makes kids slower.
– Children will injure themselves lifting weights.
– Strength training will lead to issues later in life.

As a result of these common beliefs there has been a plethora of research conducted to assess any physical risks that weights training may pose to young athletes. Overall, there is substantial amount of results supporting the implementation of strength work as part of a structured training program for Junior athletes.

Strength training stunts growth

There are numerous research articles now published that have shown that strength training does NOT have a negative effect on growth plates.

Yes, strength training does put force/load through the athlete’s joints. But….. The simple movement of sprinting e.g. a soccer player chasing down a loose ball can experience peak forces of 2-3 times body weight on each leg. Or when a basketballer lands from performing a lay up they can be putting forces up to 4-6 times their body weight through their joints! so for a 60kg athlete that is up to 360kg! If a ‘weak athlete’ is continually exposed to these forces it can lead to overuse and stress related injuries.

By performing strength training it can help to build resilient athletes that can cope with these forces. Reducing their injury risk, keeping them in their chosen sport.

Strength training will make junior athletes slow –

This myth is based on the theory that strength training will make you big and slow…….

It actually couldn’t be further from the truth. A stronger athlete is able to put more force into the ground, which in turns results in them moving quicker. Strength training also helps to enhance the neural pathway from the brain to the working muscles, making them more effective and efficient – leading to enhanced movement patterns. So the athlete can actually technically move better, resulting in supreme performance.

Children will injure themselves lifting weights –

A concern that parents have is that their child will injury themselves while performing strength training. A comprehensive study was carried out in 2001 that documented the training progress of young males (9-10 years old) over 21months. The participants carried out bi-weekly gym sessions under the supervision of qualified strength coaches. Results showed improvements of roughly 1% per week in strength output, but also documented an extremely low rate of injury of 0.055 injuries per 100 training hours. The key suggestions from these authors were to ensure supervision of young athletes whilst performing weights training and logically progressing through a periodised training program (quality over quantity).

Also, a large majority of strength training performed with junior athletes is often performed just using bodyweight. getting the athlete to move really well, before adding any additional load.

Strength training will lead to issues later in life – 

This one flows on from the myth that strength training will stunt growth plates – the only issue that strength training will lead to later in life is that you will be strong, able to compete for longer and also have stronger healthier bones.  “Resistance training in addition to free play and other structured physical activity training can serve as a protective means against injury and a positive catalyst for the development of physical literacy to offset the impact of diminishing physical activity and early sport specialisation in today’s youth”.

junior athletic development

So what should young athletes be doing?

The National Physical Activity Guidelines (guidelines established by the government to outline minimum activity requirements to assist the prevention of chronic health conditions) state that children (5-17 years) should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least three times per week. This is regardless of sport played!

The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) The governing body of strength and conditioning in Australia – state that children can safely begin resistance training from 6 years of age. The ASCA advocate the prescription of resistance training by following the Long-Term Athletic Development model. This plan outlines a coherent plan for the progressive development of young athletes via a four-stage model based on the athletes age and their ability to perform certain movements.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) further support the notion of properly designed and supervised weights training as it has been shown to increase strength, reduce the risk of injury (being stronger makes you more resilient to injury), and enhance motor skills/sports performance. Key recommendations for the AIS include:
– Ensuring weights training focuses on skills and technique.
– Training should focus on strengthening big muscle groups (compound movement over isolation exercises).
– Slowly introduce weights training and ensure sessions are on non-consecutive days to build a tolerance to training loads.

What is the best way to include strength training? 

First and foremost the best option is to get in touch with an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach – they have the expert knowledge in exercise prescription to make sure the athlete is performing the right exercises, and executing them properly.

Initially a lot of the strength training is done with bodyweight, teaching the athlete to move well – produce and absorb force effectively and efficiently. Gradually once the athlete starts to progress and control their body additional load can be applied.

Strength training is done in conjunction with the athlete’s normal training program and it is used to support their sport participation.

junior athletic development


The conclusive evidence behind the benefits of strength training should encourage all athletes, coaches and parents of athletes to include some form of structured strength training as part of a balanced training program.

The big take home message: A stronger athlete is: more resilient to injuries, can jump higher, run faster and change direction quicker.

For more information about what you can be doing with your junior athletes contact us via email, phone or our social media pages.


Cavanagh PR, Lafortune MA. Ground reaction forces in distance running. J Biomech. 1980;13(5):397-406

Sadres, E., Eliakim, A., Constantini, N., Lidor, R. and Falk, B. (2001): The effect of long-term resistance training on anthropometric measures, muscle strength, and self concept in pre-pubertal boys. Pediatric Exercise Science. 13: 357-372.

Strength Training in Children and Adolescents: Raising the Bar for Young Athletes? Katherine Stabenow Dahab, Teri Metcalf McCambridge Sports Health. 2009 May; 1(3): 223–226


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Netball Strength and Conditioning

The video above provides a quick snapshot into a training session (with Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Radford) with the Under 15 girls Netball Victoria Western region academy program.

The session included:
Single leg balance – yes open/closed
Single leg balance with passing – easy / hard
Single leg jump and land
180 degree spin and stick landing
Jump, take contact then stick the landing
Moving into some hard drive leads then stick landing
Finishing with strength work:
Walking lunge
Single leg Arabesque
Dead bug leg lowers
Push up hold – stabilising through movement

Placing an emphasis on learning safe landings and lower body strength is a really important component to any netball program! Reducing the risk of injury, but also increasing the athletes performance!

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Ankle Injuries

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Introduction
Ankle injuries are commonly referred to as a sporting injury due to their high incidence rates in sports that involve jumping, twisting, sudden bursts of speed, direction change and turning movements such as basketball, volleyball, netball and football. However something as simple as walking on an uneven surface can cause a painful and debilitating ankle sprain.

The most common type of ankle injury is Ankle Sprains, where in most cases the ankle rolls inwards (inversion sprain), under the weight of the rest of the body as a consequence of jumping, landing or changing direction. This results in damage to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, most commonly the Lateral Ligament.

Adequate rehabilitation of your ankle injury is very important to reduce the effects of persistent symptoms to the ankle and prevent the incidence of re-injury.

Ankle rehab

The ankle joint is a hinge joint, that is formed between the tibia and fibula (bones of the lower leg) and talus (bone of the foot) that allows the foot to bend upwards (dorsiflexion) and downwards (plantarflexion). The joint also allows a small amount of rotation (inversion/eversion) and it is movements outside this normal range of rotation where ankle sprain injuries occur.

The ankle joint is held together by ligaments, which act as strong elastic bands of connective tissue, which keep the bones in place while allowing normal ankle range of motion. Tendons attach the muscles to the bones to do the work of making the ankle and foot complex move and help to stabilise the joint.

With inversion ankle sprains the most common injury ligament is the Lateral Ligament, which consists of three parts:
1. Anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATFL)
2. Calcaneofibular Ligament (CFL)
3. Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTFL)
These three ligaments work together with the peroneal muscles, which run down the outside of the calf muscles to keep the ankle joint stable. Of the three, the ATFL is the most commonly damaged ligament in inversion ankle sprains.

Injuries to the inside of the ankle resulting from the ankle rolling inwards (eversion sprain) are rare and much less common compared to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The inside of the ankle is held together by the:
• Deltoid Ligament, which is made up of the Anterior and Posterior Tibiotalar Ligaments and the Tibiocalcaneal ligament
• Tibialis posterior muscle

ankle rehab

Injury Classification

The severity of ankle sprains are classified into 3 grading’s:

Grade 1: Mild sprain, with damage to a few fibres within the ligament. Swelling and bruising in and around the injured ankle is common but should dissipate within 1-2 weeks and by 3 weeks post injury everyday movements such as walking should be pain free

Grade 2: Moderate sprain, with painful, significant but incomplete tears to the ligament fibres. Recovery period is usually 4-6 weeks before considering a return to sports drills to allow optimal strength of the new scar tissue however can depend on complexity of the injury.

Grade 3: Severe sprain and usually involves complete rupture of the ankle ligaments. Often pain is not experienced over the site of the rupture and can also involve fractures to the bones near the rupture site. Rehabilitation normally takes 6-12 weeks, however varies greatly depending on the severity and complexity of the injury.

Early Management
When you sprain your ankle it is usually obvious, you start to feel your ankle roll and doesn’t correct itself causing it to fall into an extreme position. The incidence is generally painful but usually once the ankle joint cools down after the sport or activity is usually when the damage becomes more obvious. Initially it is common that the ankle joint is swollen, bruised and weight bearing is both painful and difficult.

Early rehabilitation management focuses on reduce the pain and swelling in the joint as well as restoring the normal range of movement. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on how bad the sprain was. This is achieved by focusing on the PRICE principle of Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The earlier you do this the more likely you are to aid in the healing process.
• Protection may involve the use of crutches, to avoid painful weight bearing through the joint, or where a fracture has been detected the use of a moon boot for immobilisation is frequently used. If you experience difficulty putting any weight through the foot/ankle immediately after the injury could indicate a break. Seek further medical advice if weight bearing is very difficult and painful.

• It is important post injury to let your body and ankle joint rest, so that the body can do its job in repairing and regenerating the joint. Simple ankle movements such as flexing the ankle both forward and backwards in the early stages is beneficial to help reduce swelling and promote blood flow to the joint.
• Regular icing is recommended to assist the body in combating any swelling that may occur in the joint and reducing inflammation.
• Using compression bandages on the joint can also assist in reducing swelling to the joint.
• While inflammation and swelling of the joint is common it is important to elevate the ankle/foot throughout the day to prevent the swelling and pooling in the ankle joint.

ankle rehab

Restoring strength back to the lower leg is the next stage of the rehabilitation process. This starts with building strength in the muscles that surround and support the ankle joint and then moving up the chain to include muscles that are important in long-term stability and return to sport such as the hips and abdominals. Exercises such as heel walking, toe walking and simple eversion exercises with the aid of a resistance band are simple but effective exercises for this stage of rehabilitation.

Ankle rehab

Proprioception and balance are two factors that are commonly compromised in ankle injuries and can be forgotten about during the rehabilitation process. Once pain and swelling is under control, it is important to retrain our awareness of where our bodies are in space by challenging balance and muscle control around the ankle, knee and hip. Balance retraining is an important part of the rehabilitation awareness as it prepares our body for a return to sport and also aids in reducing the risk of a recurrent injury by improving reaction time to unexpected movements and unstable surfaces. Once the ankle is strong and pain free standing on a balance board, a cushion or uneven surface with one leg and adding ball throwing and challenging balance with your eyes closed can help retrain proprioception.

ankle rehab

Finally exercises that are specific to your chosen sport such as jumping, landing, and change of direction are incorporated to prepare the individual for a return to sport.

It is important to remember that each ankle injury and individual is different, therefore it is hard to always give an accurate timeframe for recovery and return to sport. Factors such as swelling management, previous history, strength and stability of the ankle joint and surrounding muscles and the severity of the injury will ultimately dictate the recovery and return to sport timeframes.

Even after your return to sport, it is important to continue to perform your specific ankle rehabilitation program long term to continue to keep your ankle strong and help to minimise the risk of re-injury.

ankle rehab

Ankle sprains can be both frustrating and annoying injuries but if they are dealt with correctly you can reduce the chances of re-injury and return to sport and every day activity without concern. It is important you rest immediately post injury to allow your body to do its thing and to have your injury properly assed in order to achieve the best outcomes from your rehabilitation.

Contact the RAD team so we can assist you along the right track with your ankle sprain by providing an individually tailored and specific rehabilitation program based on your needs to get you back on your feet playing sport or running around the park with your kids as soon as possible.


Chloe Egan

Exercise Physiologist[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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Strength and Conditioning for the Junior Football Athlete

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Structured strength and conditioning is an integral component of Australian Rules Football. Regardless of the level of competition the benefits are the same; S&C training will help develop your athletic performance and minimise your risk of injury. But what about junior footballers? It’s a question we are commonly asked and the short answer is YES, all junior footballers (boys and girls) should complete S&C work. There is now a plethora of research supporting the positive impact strength and conditioning training can make to all junior athletes.

Firstly, we need to address what S&C training comprises of: Strength and conditioning is the overall preparation of an athlete, specific to the sport they play. AFL athletes for example need to develop a broad range of physical components (eg. speed, endurance, strength, agility). At the junior level, we can lay the foundational base for these skills to be developed and applied. The most widely accepted model for including S&C work for young athletes is the concept of long-term athletic development (LTAD). LTAD is the framework for what athletes should be doing at specific ages and stages and I would encourage all junior coaches to become familiar with the levels of LTAD.

What exactly can strength and conditioning do for young footballers? We believe there are THREE main areas to focus on when delivering S&C to young athletes, these are:
1. Make it FUN!
Kids are playing the sport because they love the game. We are big advocates for making sure we include the ball in any training drill, even if the focus is conditioning. There are a number of ways to do this (eg. keepings off handball), where you can apply both skills and conditioning into the same drill. Modifications can be made to make the drills more or less challenging and the kids will certainly enjoy it more if they don’t see it as fitness related work.

2. Teach them to move.
Most juniors are taught skills, and while this is highly important I think that there are some basic modifications to drills that can help teach kids to move. Basic skills such as landing, jumping and changing direction can not only assist athletic performance but can also form the basis on injury prevention. Next time when kids are practicing some handballing or kicking see if they can balance on one leg; when we run, jump, kick, change direction we only have one leg on the ground so learn to apply these skills in a controlled environment.

3. Think of the long-term picture.
You don’t need to replicate what you see the elite level doing. Simplify things and stick to the basics – they’re easier to deliver and are more effective in the long run. Even with minimal equipment there are so many variations of exercises or drills that can address many of the physical components required in the game of AFL.


Want to know more? If you are a junior footballer, or coach junior footballers get in touch with us at – we cater to all age groups.



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Football Conditioning Session

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Football conditioning session
Wednesday 12th April White Flat Oval
Females 9am-10:30am
Males 10:30am-12pm
Ages 14-18
Cost = $10
Session overview:
Warm up
Speed & agility
Landing mechanics
Conditioning with footys
Injury prevention and strength work

Ball work will be included right throughout the session.

To book your spot message the page or send an email to:[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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Post Game Recovery

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Recovery

As season 2017 approaches for our winter sports (Football, Netball, Basketball etc….) and everyone starts playing matches, one issue that often isn’t discussed in enough detail is RECOVERY.

Recovery – “To return to a normal state of health, mind or strength”

If we use Aussie Rules Football for an example – after a 2 hour game the athletes have been running at high speeds, burning the body’s energy stores, using up its hydration stores as well as copping plenty of bumps and knocks throughout the game. Usually the athlete then has 6-7 days before they have to play again – training 2-3 times before this next game.
So obviously the quicker the athlete can get their body to return to a “normal state” the more advantageous it is.

How can you as the athlete ‘speed’ up the recovery process??? (the million $$ question)

At RAD we have three non negotiables when it comes to recovery post game:
1. Drink
2. Eat
3. Sleep

DRINK – It is essential to replenish fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat during the game! This can be a combination of water, sports drinks or flavoured milk. Ideally consuming 1.5litres of fluid for ever 1kg of weight lost during the game. (as an example, some footballers lose up to 3-4kgs in a game!!






EAT – During the game you have burnt a lot of energy, we need to fill these stores up quick! With the two key things being: Carbs (fuel) and Protein (Muscle repair and development)

The body is most effective at replacing carbohydrate and promoting muscle repair and growth in the first ~60-90min after exercise, however this will continue to occur for another ~12-24hr.
During the first 30mins some options may include: Fruit, smoothie, Chicken salad sandwich, Flavoured milk.
Within the first 2 hours some options may include: Steak and vegies, Chicken risotto, Chicken burrito with salad and cheese.


SLEEP – ideally post game you want to be getting 8-10 hours sleep. This gives the body a chance to start repairing the damage from the game, re-charge the batteries and help get it ready to go for the next session.

Appropriate sleep quality and quantity is anecdotally reported to be the single best recovery strategy available to athletes (Halson, 2008)

The other 1%ers:

Ice bath:
Foam roll:
Active recovery
Compression garments:
Massage boots:

We won’t go into the detail of each of these 1%ers in this post – that will be saved for the next post.
The important thing to realise here is that not everyone responds to these recovery modalities the same – same as in the gym, what works for one person may not work for the next person.
Often recovery wise – what the individual thinks works for them helps. Everyone knows that there is a lot of research out there on ice-baths and their effect on recovery (good and bad), I will save the in depth discussion here for a future post but basically: If I have 2 athletes that have ticked off the 3 non-negotiables and are seeking further recovery – but one of them hates ice-baths, that is fine I will encourage them to perform one of the other 1%ers eg, massage and compression garments.



Another way to look at recovery can be done using the analogy of an empty glass – golf balls/sand.
Golf balls = our 3 non negotiables DRINK / EAT / SLEEP
Sand = the 1%ers

If we fill the jar with the sand first of all and then try and fit the golf balls in on top you will notice there isn’t much room for the golf balls to fit……
Eg. If you stay up all night doing ice baths, getting massage and active recovery – there isn’t much room for sleep and food/drink.

But if we place the golf balls in first – and then pour the sand in, you will notice the sand fills the gaps around the golf balls
Eg. If you eat and drink early on then complete some 1%ers before getting a good night sleep you can now fit everything in! Magic!



Post game – drink plenty of fluids (water, sports drinks) , Eat some good foods (salad roll, fruit smoothie) and then get a good nights sleep (8-10 hours).



Sports Dieticians Australia –

Shona L. Halson (2008) Nutrition, sleep and recovery, European Journal of Sport Science, 8:2, 119-126[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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Strength and Conditioning for Tennis

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]After watching the Australian Open, you might be feeling inspired to take your tennis to a new level. Undoubtedly, the athletes on court are there, at least partly, for two reasons – they are physically capable and they aren’t injured. This is the result of world-class strength and conditioning programs which ensure athletes are healthy and performing to the best of their abilities. These programs deal with the unique challenges faced by tennis players.
• Up to 5 hours of repeated high intensity efforts
• Short, high intensity points (average hardcourt rally lasts just 6 seconds (9)
• Relatively long recovery between high intensity efforts (1:2 work/rest ratio) (4,5,8)
• Approx 1000 shots played per match
• Short sprints (Average distance to ball contact is just 3 metres (11))
• Repeated, powerful trunk rotation (11)

4 things to think about when developing a tennis strength and conditioning program:
1. Focus on the shoulder (injury prevention & force production)

Shoulder injuries are the most common upper body injury in tennis players (10). Therefore, to keep the athlete on the court, shoulder health is vital. During the serve and forehand, tennis players create rapid internal rotation resulting in huge torque around the shoulder joint. Unfortunately, this means that once the serve is delivered, the athlete must rapidly control the deceleration of the racquet head. When this deceleration is occurring hundreds of times per match, multiple times a week, eventually injuries can happen. Thankfully, there are a few things a good strength and conditioning program can deliver to make sure the athlete is on court, strong and ready to go:
Make sure there are no muscle imbalances between the front and back of the shoulder.
As the serve and forehand are both anteriorly dominated, muscle imbalances in the shoulder joint are common. Therefore, it is up to the strength and conditioning coach to make sure the back of the shoulder can cope with the forces experienced in the deceleration phase of these strokes.
Maintain shoulder range of motion
Research suggests that shoulder range of motion (especially internal rotation) decreases over time in tennis athletes (1,2,6). Therefore, in an effort to reduce this injury risk it is vital that shoulder flexibility is taken into consideration. This can easily be programmed to do at home to maximise time-efficiency in the gym.
Strengthen internal rotation
Upper arm internal rotation plays a substantial role in racquet velocity with professional players reaching velocities of 3000° per second (7). Therefore, the importance of internal rotation development shouldn’t be underestimated. Therabands are a great tool for developing shoulder rotation, especially at home or on the road.

2. Make sure the athlete can rotate their torso powerfully

Groundstrokes, which contribute the majority of shots played in modern tennis, rely heavily on powerful trunk rotation. This poses a unique challenge to coaches of how to best train trunk rotation. A solid foundation can be achieved using ‘traditional’ training methods such as cable rotations or medicine ball throws. After this, it is desirable to train the stretch shortening cycle to exploit the elastic properties of the athlete’s muscles and tendons. Research tends to suggest that athletes can increase their racquet head speed by around 20% just by utilizing an ‘eccentric’ stretch (3). To produce this pre-stretch in the medicine ball throw, a coach could stand in front of their athlete and throw them the ball. As soon as the ball is caught, the athlete must rapidly decelerate the ball and throw it back mimicking a forehand or backhand. When doing so, keep the medicine ball light to allow power to be developed.
3. Strength endurance is key!

A male tennis player in a grand slam can expect matches to last for up to 5 hours, during which, the athlete may be required to hit 1000 shots (11). To be successful, the player must continue to produce powerful shots. Therefore, strength endurance is particularly important for tennis athletes. To develop endurance, keep the reps high!
4. Make the lower body strong!

The lower body of tennis players must be strong for two reasons; it is the location of most tennis injuries (10), and it contributes to powerful stroke production and fast movement (11). A skilled athlete will transfer force from the lower body to the racquet but, if the legs aren’t strong there won’t be any force to transfer. Research tends to suggest that both knee extension and flexion both contribute to powerful shot production (11). Therefore, it is important to load both movements. As for increasing speed on the court, movement on a tennis court is short, but time constrained. This means the first step must be powerful to get into position early and well balanced. Exercises which promote lower leg, horizontal power, such as weighted horizontal jumps would be a great way to train for this!

Author: Russell Rayner 
1. Ellenbecker, T and Roetert, EP. Age specific isokinetic glenohumeral internal and external rotation strength in elite junior tennis players. J Sci Med Sport 6: 63–70, 2003.
2. Ellenbecker, TS, Roetert, EP, Bailie, DS, Davies, GJ, and Brown, SW. Glenohumeral joint total rotation range of motion in elite tennis players and baseball pitchers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34: 2052–2056, 2002.
3. Elliott, B. The development of racquet speed. Biomech Adv tennis 33–47, 2003.
4. Fernandez, J, Pluim, BM, Mendez-Villanueva, a, and Pluim, BM. Intensity of tennis match play. Br J Sports Med 40: 387–391; discussion 391, 2006.
5. Groppel, JL and Roetert, EP. Applied Physiology of Tennis. Sport Med 14: 260–268, 1992.
6. Kibler, W Ben, Chandler, TJ, Livingston, BP, and Roetert, EP. Shoulder range of motion in elite tennis players Effect of age and years of tournament play. Am J Sports Med 24: 279–285, 1996.
7. Kibler, WB. Biomechanical analysis of the shoulder during tennis activities. Clin Sports Med 14: 79–85, 1995.
8. Kovacs, MS. Applied physiology of tennis performance. Br J Sports Med 40: 381–5; discussion 386, 2006.Available from:
9. O ’donoghue, P and Ingram, B. A notational analysis of elite tennis strategy. J Sports Sci 19: 107115, 2001.
10. Pluim, BM, Staal, JB, Windler, GE, and Jayanthi, N. Tennis injuries: occurrence, aetiology, and prevention. Br J Sports Med 40: 415–423, 2006.
11. Reid, M and Schneiker, K. Strength and conditioning in tennis: current research and practice. J Sci Med Sport 11: 248–256, 2008.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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Netball Conditioning Session

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Netball Conditioning Session – the team at Radford Athletic Development are conducting a training session on Saturday the 11th of February for any netballers in the Ballarat region.

The basic overview for the session:
Warm up
Ball work
Jump/Landing mechanics
Then how to add conditioning into drills.

At all times balls will be included into the session – so getting the physical benefits but also the skill component at the same time!! And of course some fun games throughout the session! Win win!!
Get a start to your preseason campaign and also improve your knowledge on how to physically prepare for the sport of netball.

Session will be happening at the Ballarat Netball Association – Llanberris Reserve

8:30am-10:00am aimed for junior netballers 13-17 years of age
10:30am-12pm aimed at any senior netballers 18+

Cost =$10 (prebooked) or $15 on the day

To book email:
Or PM the page [/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”none” src=”” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]